The final home game of the 2006 season had two storylines to it. First, the actual game itself that pondered the question of if Detroit could pull off the upset. Secondly, however, was the scheduled walkout. Well, neither of the storylines were very successful as the Lions couldn't get the upset and the walkout was nothing more than a big dud. Along the way of the game though, Detroit did come close to winning again. It was the similar fashion for this Detroit loss, something we've seen all year long. Take a lead into the fourth quarter and end up falling behind after a turnover and failed defense play. Whichever reason you attribute to Detroit's thirteenth loss of the season, it still won't change the 26-21 defeat at the hands of the Chicago Bears.
To get things started in this game, Detroit did get ahead and then behind rather quickly, making for another needed comeback. The first scoring of the game came via a 36 yard field goal by Bears kicker Robbie Gould, and trust me, this won't be the last time you hear his name mentioned. The field goal came after a 14 play drive that took up nearly half of the first quarter.
Answering back in the closing moments of the first quarter, Detroit went down the field got the lead. Jon Kitna found Dan Campbell from 23 yards out to give the Lions a 7-3 advantage. Detroit's lead wouldn't last long though as Chicago quickly came back with a 13 yard touchdown pass from Rex Grossman to Bernard Berrian to get the second quarter started.
Chicago began to build on their lead with another touchdown late in the first half of play. Adrian Peterson, not the potential top draft choice out of Oklahoma if that's what you're thinking, the Bears running back, got into the endzone for a 2 yard touchdown run to put the Bears ahead 17-7 at the end of the first half.
The third quarter would be all Lions as Detroit came out firing. If this type of play would've been exhibited all season long, then this playoffs might be connected to Detroit. Nonetheless, the Lions did have a stellar third quarter. Jon Kitna first found Mike Furrey for a 20 yard touchdown pass to cut the lead down to just 3 points. Then, after a Bears three and out, the Lions went right down the field again. This time, Roy Williams got his first redzone touchdown of the season. Kitna found Williams from 2 yards out to give Detroit a 21-17 lead. Just like that, Detroit gotten back into the game by taking the lead.
That play would be the last time Detroit scored all game. In the fourth and final quarter, neither team did get into the endzone for a touchdown, but Chicago converted 3 field goals to secure a victory. The first came from 36 yards away by Robbie Gould, putting the Bears within 1. The Lions now go three and out themselves and Brian Griese comes in for Chicago. The Bears didn't bench Grossman, but pulled him to avoid injury as this game didn't have a great meaning when talking about their playoff position. Griese came in to lead the Bears down the field to set up a 39 yard field goal by Robbie Gould. Chicago now has the advantage by a score of 23-21.
The next string of events are what determined this game. Jon Kitna had his usual turnover in the form of a fumble, and that essentially put Chicago in a spot to kick a field goal after the offense couldn't move the ball. The Bears did as Gould hit his fourth of the day, this time from 44 yards out. This field goal would be important as it put Detroit in a position where they had to get a touchdown.
Coming out on the field for one last time, Detroit had 80 yard to go and 2:50 left to score a TD. Slowly but surely, the Lions moved the ball down the field and eventually ended up on Chicago's 22 yard line with 7 seconds left. Detroit went for it all trying to get a game-winning TD. Jon Kitna took the snap and scrambled around, avoiding the sack. Finally, Kitna threw it to the back of the endzone where Mike Williams got in front of Devin Hester and had a chance to catch a touchdown that would've won the game. Williams let the ball go in and out of his hands, ending the Lions' chances of winning.
Some will say that Hester contacted him to force the drop and others believe Mike Williams just dropped it. Either way, the end result is Detroit's thirteenth loss of the year, and once again, comes in disappointing fashion. The Lions now pick up the pieces to head south to Dallas for the final game of the 2006 season. The Cowboys currently are a wild card team as they got beat by Philadelphia on Christmas, but they can still win the division. Dallas has to beat Detroit and hope for a Philadelphia loss, so they will be playing to win. Not only that, but silencing their critics won't happen by losing to the dismal Detroit Lions. Kickoff is slated for 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX.